Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc. recently interviewed The Honky Tonk Man and they had an in-depth discussion about his gimmick. Honky explained his use of the guitar and pointed out the fact that he's never injured anyone with it. There had been a belief that Jake "The Snake" Roberts sustained an injury after a guitar shot, but Honky said that is unequivocally not true.
"I'm very proud of the fact that I never injured anyone," Honky said. "No matter what Jake Roberts says, I know Mick Foley wrote in his book that I injured Jake Roberts and that's the one time that I picked the phone up and called another wrestler and said, 'Why did you ever say something that negative about me without ever asking me?'... He didn't check with me, he checked with Jake. Jake probably doesn't even remember doing the interview, he might not even remember getting hit with the guitar. But I took pride in never injuring anyone with that."
Honky revealed that he didn't enjoy hitting people with the guitar. He said he doesn't do it anymore and it's on his "No" list while he performs on the independent circuit because he doesn't want to end up in a legal situation.
"I didn't particularly like doing it, I don't do them anymore," he said. "Everywhere I go promoters want me to do it and it's part of, 'No, if you want to hit somebody or be hit with something, let one of your guys do it. I'm just here as an observer, because when I get on a plane and head back to Phoenix, I don't need to be coming back from some kind of legal problem because someone got injured or some kid out there [got hit with a splinter].'"
Honky also explained the origin of the guitar with his gimmick, revealing that he had it before even joining the WWE. Once he did the guitar shot on the independent circuit, it became ingratiated with his character for the rest of his career.
"WWE didn't give me that [gimmick] hitting people with the guitar. I was down in Southeastern Wrestling in Birmingham, Pensacola and Mobile working for the Fuller family, Robert and Ron Fuller," Honky explained. "When they saw me with the jumpsuit, Robert said, 'Man, do you know how to play a guitar?' I said, 'No, not really.' He said, 'I'm gonna bring one next week for TV and you hit Bob Armstrong with the guitar and we'll be off and running.' He brought this old guitar that he found somewhere, I hit Bob Armstrong and away we went, hitting people with the guitar. That's how it all started, it was never my idea."
Other wrestlers have used a guitar with their gimmick, such as Jeff Jarrett. Honky said he doesn't have a problem with other wrestlers adopting the gimmick, but he wished Jarrett at least waited for him to be out of the WWE instead of imitating his gimmick right in front of him. As for current WWE superstar Elias, who sings and plays guitar prior to his matches, Honky said he hasn't seen much of him and he actually didn't know his name because he doesn't watch Monday Night RAW nowadays.
"I've not really seen a lot of this Elijah (Elias) thing because I'll be perfectly honest with you, I don't sit through three hours of anything," he said. "I get all my information from Wrestling Inc., and people like that, websites I'll read every day and check the news."
You can watch the full interview in the video above.